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Texas Emergency Management ONLINE 2016 Vol. 63 No. 10

Cooler Weather Doesn't End Zika Concern


Summer may have come to an end, but the risk of Zika and other diseases transmitted by mosquitoes isn't over. While people may talk about the end of "mosquito season," the times mosquitoes are active and the types of mosquitoes present can vary widely across a state as large as Texas.

Mosquito activity, and thus the risk of mosquito-borne disease, is dependent on temperature, so northern parts of the state can see an early end to most mosquito activity as nighttime temperatures drop. However, the further south you get, the longer mosquitoes are likely to remain active. That means it's important to use insect repellent any time you see mosquito activity and get in the habit or reducing mosquito breeding areas year-round by dumping out standing water in and around homes and businesses.

It's also important to be vigilant when travelling to tropical destinations at any time. Texas has seen more than 200 cases of Zika, all related to travel to areas such as the Caribbean and Latin America where Zika is being spread. Travelers can help prevent Zika from coming to Texas by taking precautions while in those areas: use insect repellent, stay in places with air conditioning or good door and window screens, and wear long, loose fitting clothing whenever possible.

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